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Digital Subscriptions > Newsweek International > 27th July 2018 > NEW TRICKS FOR OLD DRUGS


Cancer treatments may already be sitting on the shelf, just waiting to be discovered BY EVA VON SCHAPER

IT COSTS $475,000 PER PATIENT TO treat childhood leukemia with the cutting- edge therapy Kymriah. But what if a cancer drug could be had for pennies a day because it already existed?

That’s exactly what happened when French doctors used a decades-old blood pressure medication on a child with a benign tumor. The drug, called propranolol, lowered blood pressure but also shrank the tumor. In subsequent studies, a regimen including propranolol was also an effective treatment for patients with angiosarcoma, a rare cancer of the blood vessels with a poor survival rate.

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BLACK GENES MATTER Genetic research has nearly excluded an entire continent. An effort to remedy that could change the future of cancer treatment, as well as medicine. So this week we ask, why are scientists ignoring African DNA in the search for cures.
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